Ten years ago, finding a commercial real estate agent meant asking your colleagues for referrals or stopping in your local real estate office and asking for the agent on duty. Today, the Internet has changed the way that business is found and won. In a sea of real estate professionals online, your content marketing strategy can be the make-or-break between being found and blending in.
Whether you’re a single agent hunting leads or a large brokerage competing for market share, having a killer real estate content marketing strategy is essential to this success.
But real estate content marketing requires planning. What you’re going to say, where you’re going to say it, and who’s going to read it … all of these details require a purposeful strategy and thoughtful execution.
Here’s 6 must-haves for a killer real estate content marketing strategy to get you started:
MUST-HAVE #1: A STRONG UNDERSTANDING OF YOUR AUDIENCE
Having a clear understanding of your audience is perhaps the most important - and often overlooked - part of any real estate content marketing strategy. Who do you want to talk to, and what type of content would interest them?
Are you speaking to international real estate investors? Buyers and sellers? Multifamily building owners and developers? Each will have their own pain points, interests and motivations.
You might be asking, “How do I know what interests them?” One, you ask. Two, you listen. Sounds crazy, right?
Engage with your sphere on social media. Listen to what they’re talking about. What questions are they asking? Similarly, questions that come up at business meetings, via email and throughout your workweek are great places to start!
When you take the time to create content based on audience interests, you’re one step closer to creating content they will enjoy, share and remember.
MUST-HAVE #2: A CLEAR, WELL-ESTABLISHED VOICE
Now that you’ve established your audience’s interests, it’s time to blend that with you or your company's voice and brand identity. What do you stand for? What message do you want to get across to your audience? How can you demonstrate that your value proposition and unique offerings can help answer these questions?
On a micro level, your writing should have a consistent tone, voice and point of view. Do you want to be friendly and approachable, yet informative? Formal and educational?
Consider your audience and your brand identity when selecting a voice, and then stick with it.
MUST-HAVE #3: A BANK OF IDEAS
After you’ve nailed down your audience and your voice, it’s time to start brainstorming ideas for content. Whether you create a Google spreadsheet or keep your ideas in visualization boards like Trello or Pinterest, keeping a bank of ideas is a must. And, forums like these make it easy for you - and your team members - to contribute on-the-fly when ideas pop up.
As mentioned before, ideas can come from listening to your audience and answering their questions. They can come from casual business conversations or by following your favoritereal estate bloggers and thought leaders.
Just make sure you’re keeping your ideas in one place to reference when you need them - even if it’s a notebook on your bedside table!
MUST-HAVE #4: A STRONG GO-TO-MARKET PLAN
You’ve got your ideas and you’ve written your first blog post … what’s next? Thoughtful distribution of your content and a strong go-to-market plan are the next on our “must-have” list if you want eyes on your content.
Consider an editorial calendar that will help you organize and plan your content distribution. Use our free Content Calendar download (available here) to get started. Just make sure you’ve got the date, the post, the platform (Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, etc.), and that you schedule promotions that last longer than initial launch.
We’ll talk about distribution on the right social media platform in our next “must-have”, but a strong go-to-market plan also considers platforms other than social media. Press release distribution as part of your go-to-market plan is another way to get your message out to the masses.
MUST-HAVE #5: THE RIGHT PLATFORM
Your go-to-market strategy is nothing if you’re not driving your content to the right platform. First, where will your content live? Will you house it on your website? Your blog? It’s important that you’re consistently pointing all social media posts and other promotions to the same hub for maximum exposure and brand building.
Secondly, where will you find your audience? Perhaps you’re looking to reach the Millennial crowd on Twitter or Pinterest. Maybe you’re seeking a more professional audience on LinkedIn or want to target specific groups on Facebook. Be sure to share your content where you audience gathers.
In the real estate industry, we’re fortunate to have a wealth of online professional groups where you can share you thoughts, experiences and content. Real estate companies can use The News Funnel, for example, to upload and distribute press releases, videos, blogs, events, jobs and market research reports directly to 100K+ real estate professionals and to dozens of 3rd party sites via our free content syndication network.
MUST-HAVE #6: CONTINUITY
Lastly, be consistent. A great content marketing strategy requires dedication and consistency. It might take a little bit to get in the groove, but once you’re there … a strong content marketing strategy can be just what you need to increase brand awareness, reach your target audience, and become a thought leader in your market.
And, for more inspiration and strategy resources, check out our latest blog: 5 Crazy Simple Ways to Give Your Words More Impact on the Web.